I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate the Office 2007 ribbon interface. I’ve been a heavy MS Office user (primarily Word and Excel) for the past 10 years. I’d have the toolbars super customized to have the items that I need on a daily basis available. It was pretty sweet. Well, for software that you have to use for work.
In any case, MS decided to change things around a screw with people. So, they released Office 2007 with a ribbon interface.
So now you have to click back and forth between the various tabs on the ribbon bar. For example, if you’re on the “home” tab, where the program defaults to, and you want to open a second window in your document, you have to click the “view” tab, then the “split window” button. This is annoying because you used to be able to do this in one click. Now it takes at least two, because usually you’ll forget where the various items are.
Additionally, there are a huge number of commands that are not displayed on the ribbon, b/c where would they put them? Well, they are still in the software, but you have to know the keyboard shortcuts in order to use them.
Better, yet, the ability to customize the software is greatly reduced. There’s the “quick access toolbar” to which you can add icons, but there’s a limit to the number of items you can put there and they can only exist in one row lining up across your window. There is at least one piece of customization software that you can buy., but it still doesn’t give you the same level of customization as in Word 2003 and previous. You can arrange tab sections, but not individual commands.
MS claims that the ribbon enhances newbies’ abilities to use Office. However, what about the rest of us that were previously experts?
Well, I think that MS realized that the ribbon interface pretty much sucks, but can’t announce that b/c they spent so much time and money creating and marketing it. So, instead they released the “office search commands plugin“. This program puts a new search tab in your office programs and let’s you type in what you want and suggests commands. It’s great b/c it eliminates the hunting around that goes with using the piece of crap that is the ribbon.